Inauguration celebrations end on a high note

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Johannesburg - The inauguration celebrations for President Jacob Zuma ended on a high note last night, with the country's internationally acclaimed artists paying tribute to the President at a glittering event at the Monte Casino's Teatro Theatre.

The cultural event, which was held to commemorate the inauguration of the President, was organised by the Department of Arts and Culture to showcase South Africa's arts, culture and heritage sector.

The event was attended by high profile delegates including President Zuma and his wives, Members of Parliament, provincial premiers, celebrities and business people, who were entertained by indigenous artists after spending a long day at the Union Buildings.

Well known artists including Lira, maskandi legend Ihhashi elimhlophe, Jonas Gwangwa and Zimbabwean artist Oliver Mtukudzi were among the artists who graced the occasion to show their support for the new President.

Lira's songs like 'I just wanna feel good' kept the audience on their toes begging for more, while Ihhashi elimhlophe with his wife Lina, popularly known as Ebony in the music industry, took the guests back to their roots.

As usual when performing on stage, Oliver Mtukudzi kept the audience in the palm of his hand, with the guests moving their heads slowly as a sign of enjoyment for the performances.

"We feel honoured to be part of this occasion and want to wish President Zuma all the best," Mr Mtukudzi said.

The evening would not have been completed without Jonas Gwangwa's most loved song, 'Flowers of the nation', which took the audience down memory lane. As the South African icon entered the stage playing his saxophone, the audience were glued to the stage, whistling throughout the performance.

The ceremony ended with a rich performance by African Footprint, a group performing a musical story of Africa's emergence.

Earlier in the day, more than 40 000 people attended the Presidential inauguration celebrations at the Union buildings as well as 5 000 invited guests consisting of 29 Heads of State, prime ministers and ministerial delegations.

The crowd was then treated to live music performances by various local artists including Arthur, Chomee, Hip-Hop Pantsula and cultural dances.